When I try to think of the first word that would describe The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise, Iím pretty sure it would be quirky. Now, this isnít a bad thing! Iím all for a bit of quirkiness especially since Iím so quirky myself. And for the most part, I did like the quirkiness that was inside this book. It was a bit of an unexpected read with a main character that I felt myself being strongly connected to and who I couldnít help but root for all the way till the end.
One day in school, an announcement is broadcast over the loud speakers that there is going to be a national contest for high school students to design an app for their phones. The two winners will receive $200,000 which Audrey McCarthy desperately needs in order to have the opportunity to go to a good college without being in debt for the rest of her life.† After some quick pondering, she decides that she wants to design an app that will help girls find boyfriends, and thus The Boyfriend App is born allowing total chaos to ensure. And when I say total chaos, I mean total chaos but in a good way because itís complete comedy gold.
I really liked the character of Audrey. She was nerdy and pretty smart when it comes to computers. I mean, the girl knows how to translate computer dialect like itís nobodyís business. Iíll admit I was doing a little bit of geeking out over the computer language because it was so interesting to read about the programming aspects. Audrey also knows how to hack into the computer systems as well which proves to be a good and a bad thing throughout the book. I also liked how Audrey never really took herself too seriously, and how she was not a perfect person. In fact, she was a bit emotionally damaged so to speak because of things that happened her to her in recent months. And sheís kinda crushing on a boy but doesnít know whether or not itís something she should risk pursuing or not. However, she refuses to let anything get her down, and made rooting for her an easy task. I also loved the group of friends that she hung out with in the book. All of them had their own characteristics that made them shine in my eyes.
I also liked how The Boyfriend App took a realistic look at how dependent we as a society have become on technology. It did take me a little bit to get used to the idea of the subnames for the different products and companies such as the buyPhone instead of iPhone and Public/Infinitum instead of Apple/Samsung but, once I got passed that I was able to reflect on the message that was potentially indirectly within the text. A message about how ďbrain washedĒ we as a society can tend to be if we completely rely on technology to live our lives. I know I myself have had to force myself to take a step back from my phone and my computer and just actually live my life and experience the outside world. It was interesting to see this reflected within this book a little bit even if it wasnít entirely intentional.
While I liked the quirkiness and diversity that was displayed in this book, I must say that towards the end it does lose a bit of that fun and fluffiness that I was enjoying. Like I said before total chaos ensues which allows for complete comedy gold but it also allows for a bit of a darker undertone which I was torn about. It was still fun and enjoyable but I still felt like it too something away from it. I did however like the way some things were wrapped up even though I felt as if something may have been missing or perhaps even over done a tad.
Overall, Katie Sise is most definitely an author I will be looking forward to reading more from in the future. Sheís also someone who is really fun to hang out with and share drinks with as was proven to me when I met her at the Harper Collins party at BEA this year. As for The Boyfriend App, it may not be a book for everyone but if youíre looking for something that will make you laugh, make you smile, and help you find yourself rooting for a geeky fun female main character, I think you should absolutely give it a shot!
Disclosure: Received a signed copy at BEA 2013
Other reviews of The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise:
Rather Be Reading: “The Boyfriend App is more than some fluffy high school story…”
Me, My Shelf, & I: “This book is just a wonderful little gem…”
The Flyleaf Review: “The Boyfriend App started strong but became scattered…”